Metro-East Living

Give same sex couple same wedding gift as any couple

Q: I have been invited to the wedding of a couple of the same sex. One of them is an employee in the same office building where I work, thus the invitation, I guess, although I don’t really know the person. What kind of wedding gift should I get them? How do I know what to put on the outside of the wedding card since I don’t know who is who in this relationship. I don’t know what last name to use or who is the Mr. and who is the Mrs.

A: You should get a wedding gift similar to that which you would give to any couple getting married. That could be an item from their gift registry if they are registered at any stores. To find out if they are registered, ask someone in the employee’s workplace. If that contact does not produce the necessary information, other gift options include: A gift card to a local department store; a nice decorative frame suitable for a wedding photo; a set of crystal candlesticks; a crystal serving bowl; a silver serving tray; a nice candy dish; or a cookie jar; a gift card to a nice restaurant.

As to your question of how to address the outside of your gift card: Use the first names of the two individuals getting married.

Q: I went to the graduation of our grandson and to the graduation party afterward at his parents’ house. We were asked to stay to see him open his gifts. After he opened our gift, he thanked us and told us how much he appreciated the gift. Then he said: “So since I thanked you in person, I don’t need to send you a handwritten thank-you note, do I?” (I’ve always coached my children, and now grandchildren, how important it is to send handwritten thank-you notes). I responded to him with: “I appreciate your personal verbal thank you, but yes, you certainly do need to send us a handwritten thank-you note.” He grinned and said one of his classmates told him he didn’t need to send a handwritten thank-you note if he thanked the person at the time the gift was given to him. I gave him my certain look which means “nonsense” and reiterated we would be looking forward to getting his thank you within the week. I am correct? Using this question in your column will be a reminder to others that proper protocol and good manners dictate handwritten thank-you notes for gifts be sent, whether or not the givers were thanked in person at the time the gift was given.

A: Yes, you are totally correct in everything you said.

A Reminder

On Memorial Day, the American flag should be displayed at half-staff from dawn until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.

Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Lifestyle Editor Patrick Kuhl, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to